JACKSON, MINNESOTA (June 27, 2019) – The 41st Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals is a tremendous event for the racers, teams and fans alike. It kicked off on Wednesday evening with a hauler parade through town where the JJR team got to show off their always clean and shiny truck and trailer in route to the track for a meet and greet with the fans and members of the community. After rain rolled through early Thursday morning the skies cleared and the teams started to align themselves in the pit area for the first of three nights of competition in the 41st Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals. There were 42 teams entered and ready to get rolling around the 4/10-mile oval at the beautiful Jackson Motorplex.
The field was split into two separate groups for time trials with the Watertown, Connecticut native set to go out thirteenth in the first group for his two laps at speed aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Weikert’s Livestock #41 Maxim. When Daryn Pittman completed his laps in the Roth Motorsports #83, David Gravel got up to speed with his Kistler Engines power under the hood that was displaying the Jason Johnson Classic presented by FK Rod Ends event logo for the first time. That event will be held at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri on October 19th, so plan to be at the track to honor our fallen hero. Gravel took the green flag and motored around the Jackson Motorplex surface, completing his first lap in 12.921 seconds. The speedster stayed on the loud pedal and used his KSE Racing Products to steer his way around the track. He was quicker the second time around with a blistering lap of 12.752 seconds, which was quick time in Flight A and overall on the night. It was Gravel’s and the JJR teams fourth quick time in the last six events. Pretty impressive for the forty-one team.
Your reward for being quick time is the pole position in the first and fastest heat race from qualifying times where the top two finishers in each heat race advance on to the DirtVision Fast Pass Dash. David Gravel rolled into his front row starting position in the J.R.C. Transportation/High Performance Lubricants #41 with Daryn Pittman to his outside. The front two drivers were followed by James McFadden, Shane Stewart, Kraig Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, Mark Dobmeier, Jack Croaker, Tasker Phillips, Kevin Ingle and Colin Smith. The distance was eight laps with the top five locking themselves into the feature event later in the evening. The green flag was flickering in the wind and Gravel was on the hammer as he drove into the lead at the onset of the race. Pittman was close behind in the runner-up position but McFadden was giving him all he could handle as the two talented drivers swapped the second spot a number of times giving Gravel the time to build a sizable lead. Gravel would be the first one to see the checkered flags waving as he took the win over Pittman by 2.806 seconds with McFadden coming home third as Shane Stewart and Mark Dobmeier secured the final two transfer positions from the first heat race.
For the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, David Gravel would start from the outside of row two in the fourth starting position. Donny Schatz and Terry McCarl brought the field to the green flag with Gravel moving into the show position behind Schatz and McCarl on the opening lap. Just after they passed the flag stand to end lap one, Gravel used the high side to maneuver his Weikert’s Livestock/Jansen Transportation Maxim around McCarl into the runner-up position. He would chase Schatz throughout the balance of the race as Schatz took the win over Gravel with Brian Brown coming home third, Terry McCarl fourth and Jacob Allen fifth as Brad Sweet, Justin Henderson and Daryn Pittman rounded out the dash finishing order.
With the starting order now set for the 30-lap feature on night one of the 41st Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals, it was time to go racing at the Jackson Motorplex. David climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine wearing his black with red accents Simpson Race Products driver’s suit and pulled on his helmet preparing to do battle. He would share the front row in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/FK Rod Ends #41 with polesitter Donny Schatz. After the four-wide salute to the fans the field reset into their side-by-side starting order. The next time around the air would be filled with the sweet sound of 410 engines working hard. Gravel drove into the early lead over Donny Schatz as he was moving and grooving in the JJR #41 entry. He was flying and building a sizable lead over the first half of the race, but certainly wasn’t out of sight to those trying to track him down. The talented driver of the forty-one was running clean laps and started to track down the back of the field, so lap traffic would soon add to the challenges at high speed for the leader. Brad Sweet was using the bottom lane of the speedway to move forward as he was embroiled in a battle for the runner-up position with Donny Schatz. With less than 10 laps to go he owned the second position and started to track down Gravel who was navigating through lap traffic masterfully from the point position. But with each passing lap, second place running Sweet was starting to narrow the distance between himself and the leader. Gravel stayed up on the wheel but unfortunately got slowed up slightly trying to pass two cars he was preparing to put a lap down which broke his momentum. That little bit allowed Sweet to get underneath him and take the lead as the two drivers took the white flag, which indicates one lap to go, waving over the leaders. Gravel continue to press forward, but Sweet took the win by just 0.647 seconds over Gravel who came home second as Schatz rounded out the podium on the first night of the Jackson Nationals with Daryn Pittman and Brian Brown rounding out the top five. An understandably disappointed driver climbed out of the cockpit of the #41 and explained, “The JJR guys gave me a really good car all night. We were fast tonight.” He continued, “I got tied up there just a little and Brad got by me.” It was a great results and earned him good cumulative points for the three-day show with the top four point earners on Thursday and Friday locking in to Saturday night’s $41,000-to-win Jackson Nationals Championship finale. A great run for the forty-one!
We are proud to represent all of our dedicated and loyal supporters:
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Jonestown KOA; Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution; Weikert’s Livestock; J.R.C. Transportation, Inc.; Durst Inc.; Maxim Racing; The Boyd Family; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Waco Metal; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; Tiger Towing; All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads, Inc.; All Pro Auto Reconditioning; AutoMeter; Bell Racing USA; Blackbeard; Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS); Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; C&R Racing; Chalk Stix Torsion Bars; Cody Monoco Racing; Crow Enterprizes, Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne FK Shocks; Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Fuel Safe Racing Cells; Greber Racing Components; Hoosier Racing Tire; ISC Racers Tape; Jansen Transportation; K&N Filters; Kaiden Kares; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; LogoDaddy Graphics; Max Papis Innovations (MPI); MSD Performance; RaceDiecast.com; Schoenfeld Headers; Shell Shock Paint; Simpson Race Products; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Vortex Racing Products; Weld Wheels; Wilwood Racing; and Winters Performance Products.
To stay connected with Jason Johnson Racing (JJR), go to www.jasonjohnsonracing.com.
To stay up-to-date with David Gravel and his success and journey on and off the track, as well as to purchase his gear and merchandise, go to www.DavidGravel89.com.